Woman Who Beheaded Lover Out Of Jail Due To 'Impotent' Laws

After spending 18 of her maximum 24 year sentence behind bars, convicted murderer Kathy Yeo is free despite refusing to tell police what she did with her former lover's body.

What you need to know
  • Murderer woman Kathy Yeo released on parole on Thursday after serving her 18 year minimum sentence
  • Her former lover's severed head washed up on a river, but his body was never found
  • Yeo was released despite new 'no body, no parole' powers
  • Dorrian's son said the ruling was a "bloody joke"

The woman who beheaded her former lover was released on parole despite refusing to reveal where the body was.

In 2002, Kathy Yeo a former psychiatric nurse was convicted of shooting Christopher Dorrian three times in the head before cutting it off. She was sentenced to a maximum 24 years in prison and has now served her minimum sentence of 18 years. 

Dorrian's severed head washed up on the banks of Sydney's Cooks River two weeks after his disappearance in 1997, but his body has never been found.

In May this year,  NSW's Department of Justice introduced a  'no body, no parole' power where the Commissioner of Corrective Services can  "refuse parole if an offender... convicted of murder or manslaughter has failed to tell investigators the location of their victim’s remains."

Yeo became the first inmate to be pursued under these laws, but today a court heard it was only one of the "many factors" taken into account regarding her release. 

Outside of court, Christopher Dorrian's son James was in shock. 

"I'm quite shaken," he told Ten Eyewitness News.

James Dorrian, murder victim's son. Image: Ten Eyewitness News

James stormed out of court before the ruling was entirely read out.

"I think It's a bloody joke, this legislation has come through it's meant to be no body, no parole there are other factors in, it but it's a f*cking joke," he said.

The Yeo decision is a test case as to how these powers could be used.

"It did give me a lot of false hope, I thought it has [the reform] come in at the right time."

He pointed out that he is now the same age his father was when he was murdered, and it's something he cannot stop thinking about.

"I don't have much faith in the justice system [but] I was told it should be working in our favour, apparently not," he said.

Victim's advocate Howard Brown said there were other families who were following this case closely.

"This new piece of legislation which is' no body, no parole' has fallen at the first hurdle so I will be writing to the [justice] minister and expecting him to appeal this matter," said Howard Brown.

"That piece of legislation because of this decision has become impotent ... and if this legislation falls at it's first hurdle then we may as well not have it," he said.

In a tweet directly after the ruling, the state's Minister for Corrections David Elliot says he is looking into ways to appeal the decision.